Family * Travel * Food

Jun 14, 2021

How to Add a Personal Touch to Your Home

Your home is your personal space. It’s your area to relax and be yourself.
 
What turns a house into a home are those small personal touches. The things you display around your house convey your personality, or showcase your achievements and memories.
 
Here are the best ways you can add a personal touch to your home. Even if you're renting or you hate clutter, these tips are easy and appropriate for you!
 

1. Print Out Your Own Photos
 
The photos you take capture the most special memories that you want to remember forever. There is no better way to keep these memories at the forefront of your mind than to print them out and hang them up around your house.
 
Lots of people are using laser printers to print out their favorite family photos. These machines are an affordable way to bring your photos to life in bright colors.
 
Get yourself a laser printer, print a few photos, and you’re ready to display them across your home. You could even print some out to gift to other people if you have photos with them.
 
2. Show Off Your Achievements
 
If you’ve had an amazing achievement in the past, and have an award to show for it, you should be proud of yourself. What better way to display your pride than having up your awards in your home?
 
You could hang up your certificates in some beautiful frames, or place your trophies on your sideboard. Whatever achievements you have to show, having then displayed is a great way to add a personal touch to your home.
 
3. Display Your Homemade Accessories
 
For those of you who love arts and crafts, displaying your homemade accessories is a lovely way to add your personality to your home. They reflect who you are, and showcase your skills and hobbies.
 
Maybe you have painted your own canvases that could be hung up in your bedroom. Or maybe you have created patterned ceramic vases that would make a great addition to your living room. Because these accessories are home-made, they’re one of a kind and add a unique touch to your house.
 
4. Hang Up Your Children’s Work

If you have young children who love painting and drawings pictures for you, it’s always lovely to hang them up around your home. Not only does this add a personal touch to your living space, but it also makes your child proud and happy that you’re showing off their work. You may want to laminate their artwork to keep it looking like new.
 

5. Display Travel Purchases
 
If you love going on city breaks, chilling by the beach, or exploring exotic countries, you likely have lots of items that you’ve purchased on your travels. Displaying these in your house helps you to re-live the memories and show them to any guests that visit your home. It's like showcasing your steps across the world!
 
Whether you have a bunch of fridge magnets or unique seashells that you’ve spotted whilst on vacation, displaying them gives your home an amazing personal touch.

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Mar 12, 2021

The Best Roofing for Residential Homes

When choosing a roof, you need something that will protect you and your family from nature's elements and lasts for a long time.  You also need a roof that will fit your budget and improve your home’s aesthetics. Check several options for residential homes on IKO Roofing and choose what works for you. Some best roofs for your home include:

Asphalt Shingles

This is one of the best roofs we have in the market today.  People prefer them because they are affordable, and they look good for most home styles.  It has a broad selection of colors, meaning you can easily find something that matches your home. If you enjoy DIY projects, you can easily install asphalt shingles on your home with the right skills, experience, and equipment. You can also reach out to a company like the IKO roofing team to do the roofing for you. 

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing has a life span of 50-100 years, making it one of the most durable roofs. You will be given a warranty of 30-50 years in most areas, which shows you how long-lasting it is. Also, it helps in keeping your home cool by reflecting solar radiant heat in hot weather. In recent years manufacturers have been producing metal roofing that resembles wood shake and natural slate, which can give your home the appeal you are looking for. 

Wood Shingles and Shakes

Wood shingles are machine-cut, which gives them a clean edge and a smooth surface. In return, it gives your home a uniform appearance enhancing its appeal. Wood shakes are hand-split with a rugged appearance because each piece has a different look than the rest. When you want to install this roof, keep in mind that this material requires someone with technical skills and knowledge with this kind of roof. Therefore, ensure that you thoroughly research a contractor and find someone who can deliver

Clay Tile Roof

This kind of roof is suitable for hot climates and coastal areas. It is also durable, withstanding fire, hail, and high winds. It comes in different tile shapes like flat, curved, or fluted, enhancing the curb appeal of your home.

Slate Roofing

Slate has a long lifespan due to its ability to withstand any weather conditions. It also requires minimum maintenance once you have already installed it. The cost of installation is slightly higher than other roofs, but it is worth it because of its quality.

A roof is a big part of home construction. It is recommended to research what kind of roof you can go for depending on your budget and the local weather conditions. Also, talk to different roofing companies, see what they offer, and then compare prices and choose the best alternative.

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Feb 26, 2021

How To Find a Rental Property With Zumper

Are you currently in a situation where you need to move quickly and find a rental property that suits your needs? I was just reading a post on Facebook the other day where a friend was put in a bad situation with the property management company who was renting her the house she is living in. They gave her minimal notice that her rent was about to go by hundreds of dollars depending on if she chose to renew her rental agreement for another year or go month-to-month. Needless to say, this really put her in a bind being a single mom of three. It’s a hard thing to go through when you add kids into the mix. You don’t want to disrupt what is normal to them, especially during the times we are living in. 


Unfortunately, these situations happen all the time. Sometimes you are faced with life changes, job relocation, family growth, or financial change. It’s never easy to figure out where to move and if you will find the right rental that checks off all the boxes. Most people, especially parents would first look at the school districts, as well as if a location is family-friendly. Thankfully we all live in the age of technology so there are tools that can help you find the perfect rental property with minimal effort on your part. 

According to Zumper, the average rent for a 3-bedroom apartment in Charlotte, NC is $1,650.00. Of course, this price can change according to specific neighborhoods, amenities, and other specifications. Having a set budget is the best start. Once you know what you can afford, you can then start your search. Zumper is used by millions of renters to find houses, rooms, condos, or apartments for rent. You can check out their quality listings in real-time, and even submit a digital rental application and credit reports with Zumper's screening service, powered by TransUnion™. 


You are able to filter your search by location, price range, bedroom count, pet-friendly, or amenity and set an alert to get notifications when a new listing is posted! This definitely is helpful if you are a busy person. I really wish these services were available to me years ago when we were relocating to the Carolinas. Zumper’s inventory is updated in real-time, so you'll always see new rentals there first. Anything that helps you worry less is a huge plus! No matter your challenges, there is a rental property out there for you! 
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Feb 8, 2021

Things to Consider When Looking For a Pest Control Company

Pest infestation is one of the most commonly encountered problems by people from all over the world. These little unwelcomed creatures can literally destroy your property in no time. Stings from pests can pose serious health issues especially when an allergic reaction is involved. Most of the owners of the house are often seen rushing for home remedies to eradicate these disturbing creatures from their property, but let it be clear that this always isn’t helpful. At times, the situation worsens and the infestation becomes so large that you need a pest control company to take care of the situation. The professionals from these companies know pests better than you and have a better understanding of which treatment to use to effectively treat the problem. 

However, before hiring a pest control company, there are some points that you should consider to make sure that the professionals you are calling in are worth your time and money. 

License
Let it be clear that dealing with a pest problem isn’t as easy as it sounds, and not everybody can apply the pest formulas. The chemicals used in the formulas are highly toxic and if not prepared properly using the right proportion of everything, they may pose serious health hazards. Therefore, when choosing a pest control company, you have to be sure that the professionals you are welcoming into your space have the license. 

Check Customer Reviews
Reviews help a lot in making the right decision. It’s always best to check the reviews from previous customers and going through them to get an idea about the company’s performance. If in case you come across any negative reviews, look for how the company responded to them. Most of the companies allow their customers to share detailed experiences with the company, thus making it, even more, easier for others to get to know more about the company’s services. 

Experience 
Pest control treatment isn’t all about just having the knowledge of applying the pesticide and getting away from it. A professional should have a good understanding of the various behaviors of the pests he is going to deal with. This also involves knowledge of their food habits, breeding, and having the skills to control their growth in an effective way. Therefore, always go for a company that has professionals who are trained and experienced. 

Check Price
Keep in mind that a pest control company involves very detailed and service-oriented work, therefore, looking for a company that offers the lowest price might not be a good choice. Short-list all the companies that you think you might hire and compare their prices. Beware of companies that offer you abnormally low prices. Companies like these use half-used, old formulas, and trust me, that is only going to make the situation worse. Be sure that the pesticide is freshly opened and applied the right way.

Quality Guarantee
It is essential that you look for a pest control company that offers you a service guarantee like Quality Affordable Pest Control. Let it be clear that you can’t figure out whether the treatment was effective or not until it’s been two or three weeks. Therefore, the pesticide company should always offer you some kind of work guarantee. Such companies are pretty much confident about their work and go the extra mile for their customers to ensure that the best services are served. The best part about these companies is that most of them have compensation policies in case the pesticide doesn’t show the expected results. 

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Jan 12, 2021

5 Things You Need to Keep in Mind While Hiring a Moving Services

If you are reading this blog, then the chances are that you might have to move some time in the near future. Well, if that’s the case, then worry no more because I’ve got you covered with everything that you need to know about hiring the right movers for your moving mission. 

Moving your home is a tiring process, but if you manage to get the help of the right people, it becomes easy as cake, and on top of that, you don’t have to do anything. It is the reason that I’ve narrowed down some of the most effective tips that you need to follow so that you can hire the movers for your big move. 


So, without any further ado, let’s dig in and find out what you need to know about hiring the right moving services.

Here you go:

First Thing First – Ask for Recommendations 

If you are moving, then the first thing that you need to do is to make sure that you ask around for some good recommendations. It is important because this way you won’t have to go through the trouble of searching for the good movers and spending your time and energy on it. If you actually manage to get some good recommendations, then all you need to do is to make sure that you narrow down the options that suit you the best. It is the best way so far to make the whole process of moving a little bit simple and easy for you.

Don’t Forget to Check Reviews on Their Site 

If you are looking for some good movers and you don’t have any recommendations, even then, it’s fine because I have a way that can help you. The first thing that you need to do is to go to their business site and check out the reviews that their clients have left on their site. Just by reading the reviews, you’ll have a good idea about their services, and you’ll be able to make an informed choice.


Ask Them about License and Insurance 

You don’t want to hire someone who is operating without any license. Above all, you don’t want your stuff to be ruined and not have any insurance, right. Therefore, it is very critical that you ask the movers about their license and insurance that covers your loss just in case anything goes south. It is important because you don’t want your precious stuff to be lost or damaged just because you didn’t hire the right movers.

Know About the Track Record of their Drivers and Team

When it comes to movers, you need to make sure that you know about the track record of the driver and the team that moves your stuff. It is important because if the people are not trained enough, then your moving process can turn out to be a real disaster, and you obviously don’t want that to happen. So, make sure that you are hiring the movers who have experienced drivers and staff on board with them.

Know if they Are Equipped with Right Equipment 

Moving is not about picking boxes and placing them in the moving truck. It involves some great skills when it comes to moving heavy and delicate stuff like refrigerators and furniture. So, make sure that the company you are going to hire is equipped with everything that one might need to move stuff safely. Apart from that, you also need to make sure that you have all the supplies that are important for the safe movement of your things because you don’t want to lose your precious stuff.
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Dec 2, 2020

Pergolas - The Ultimate Garden Structure

What is a home garden without an outdoor structure that is a multifunctional and multi-seasonal addition that not only offers you protection from different types of weather but that also defines your space in style? Extravagant features like pergolas are what designers, architects, and homeowners are raving about nowadays. 


Pergolas vs Other Outdoor Structures 

Outdoor structures are the easiest and inexpensive way to transform your dull home garden into a luxurious living space. However, the structure that you end up choosing depends on the vision that you have for your space. You can choose these several different types of outdoor structures for your garden.

Pergolas

A traditional Pergola design can trace its roots back to the Italian Renaissance. Pergolas are typically large outdoor structures that are attached to the house to serve as protection, link pavilions, or extend from the back door onto an open garden feature such as a pool. This versatile outdoor structure can also be freestanding to provide a sitting area like a patio to offer much-needed protection from the sun. They are commonly mistaken for Arbors and Gazebos. 


Arbors

This is a structure very similar to pergolas, but the difference is that they are relatively smaller and simpler in their design. Unlike pergolas, arbors are never attached to the house, they are always freestanding or attached to a fence to house a gate. They are generally used to define an entry point, divide outdoor rooms, or frame a focal point in your garden. 

Patio Covers

These are structures that are attached to the house and can either be built with a trellis or lattice or they may have a solid roof. They are a lovely way to add more space to your outdoor entertainment area while preventing the heat from messing up with your relaxation in summer. 

Gazebos

Sometimes there is confusion between Gazebos, Pergolas, and Arbors. Gazebos are freestanding, typically octagonal structures that have a solid roof and open sides. They provide ample shade and allow you to enjoy uninterrupted views making them the perfect outdoor structures to entertain. They can also be used to host intimate dinners.

Pavilions

Bigger than both Gazebos and Pergolas, pavilions are designed with entertaining larger large crowds in mind. The roof is solid and covered to make sure that even the heaviest rain cannot interfere with your hosting plans.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money in the city in a picturesque place to have your lunch, you can turn your home garden into an exquisite oasis with outdoor structures like pergolas. They are the most common additions to outdoor spaces because of their flexibility with design and size.

Pergolas will accentuate the quality of your home garden with their aesthetically attractive design without being obtrusive in your garden. They are made from simple materials such as treated wood. It is easy to build your own from scratch if you are the type who wants to erect your structure and possess intermediary building skills. There are loads of DIY hacks for pergolas online that include ways to waterproof your wood.

How To Maintain and Care for Pergolas

Like many outdoor structures, pergolas need to be maintained and cared for to increase their lifespan. Since they can be made from different types of wood, it’s important to know how to take care of them.

  • Using a high-pressure hose helps to give it a thorough cleaning and eliminates any dirt that may cling to the surface and harder to reach areas.
  • Wash and rinse any visible stains on the wood with a recommended cleaning solution. It’s important to know the characteristics of the wood to avoid any unintentional damage.
  • Pergolas need a bit of touching up and repair work after some time. A home kit and paint will do the trick. Some wood like cedar changes color over time. If you want to preserve its color it needs a sealant to be sprayed on it. Clean it well and spray it with some oil, leave it to dry and then apply a sealant to it.
  • If you’re the kind that enjoys growing creepers on pergolas because you love the touch of greenery for ambiance, you need to remember to trim your vines. It will lessen the amount of weight on the pergola. 

It's a Pergola Lifestyle 

Pergolas are the right kind of outdoor style accessories with a practical purpose. They not only offer the right amount of shade, contrast, color, and privacy to your home garden, they are also easy to maintain, add value to your property, and can be added anywhere you see fit. So, if you want to enhance the quality of your outdoor living experience by giving it more visual appeal pergolas are the perfect solution to your design needs.  

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Oct 16, 2020

5 Tips To Improve Your Home's Energy Efficiency

Are you concerned that the cost of your monthly bills is rising?  Or perhaps you’re concerned that your home isn’t very environmentally friendly.  Either way, now is a good time to improve your home’s energy efficiency. 

Here are 5 tips to help you become more energy efficient. 


IMPROVE YOUR HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEMS
Where you live will depend on how much you use heating and air conditioning in your home, but one thing is for certain, you can reduce the amount of energy you consume.

Make sure that any heating or cooling systems you use are regularly serviced. This will keep them running at their optimum efficiency.  Older systems will undoubtedly be less efficient than newer systems.  So, if you’re thinking of replacing it with new, do your homework.  Make sure you upgrade to the best energy-rated systems you can afford.

Although you’ll have to consider any new air conditioning, heat pump or boiler installation costs when replacing existing heating and cooling systems, don’t let the initial outlay put you off.  Think about the long-term benefits.


ADD SOLAR PANELS
Particularly if you live in a warmer climate, it’s worth contemplating the installation of solar panels.  But don’t think that they are just for use in sun-drenched states, solar panels can work even in cloudy weather.  

If you’re unsure whether solar panels are a good choice for your home and budget, get a professional installer to survey your home before making any commitments.  If the installation needs further work to your roof for instance, it may not be financially viable. Again, you’ll need to weigh up the long-term benefits.

DO YOUR MAINTENANCE
Make yourself a regular maintenance checklist to keep on top of those energy-sapping problems around your home.

What tasks can you do to make your home function better?  Draughty windows and doors lead us to use our heating more.  Whereas windows that are overshadowed by foliage will block light and lead us to use our lighting more. Go around your house and make a list of things that may need attention.

ADD INSULATION
Your home could benefit from insulation, or better insulation.  Check whether your loft or attic space is insulated.  If it is, but you’re not sure when it was installed, check the condition and thickness of the insulation you have.  Could replacing it or adding to it improve your home’s warmth?


REDUCE YOUR ENERGY USAGE
And lastly, the easy bit.  Do those little things to make a big difference over time.  Change your light bulbs to energy efficient ones.  Unplug electrical appliances when you’re not using them.  

If you’re not sure where your energy usage could be improved, try using a smart meter.  You’ll soon identify when and where your usage is high, so you’ll be able to take steps to reduce your energy consumption.
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